Historically the role of protecting children has been an assumed responsibility for clubs and volunteers. Today, this responsibility has been enshrined in various state and federal laws, placing not only a significant moral obligation on clubs and their volunteers to ensure the protection of children within their care but now a legal responsibility as well.
By far and away, the best resource in the country providing a framework for clubs to create their child protection strategies and fulfil their responsibilities is www.playbytherules.net.au.
The www.playbutherules.net.au website, “harnesses the strength and knowledge of the human rights and sports and recreation sectors” to “build the capacity and capability of sports clubs and associations to prevent and deal within discrimination, harassment and child safety issues in sport.”
Creating a Safe Environment for Children
The www.playbytherules.net.au website gives a detailed description of the different types of abuse children need protection from (http://www.playbytherules.net.au/legal-stuff/child-protection/what-is-child-abuse) and contains detailed information about how to create safe environments for children including:
- Strategies at a club level
- Strategies for parents
- Strategies for coaches
This information can be accessed by clicking the following link:
Indicators of Abuse and Reporting Requirements
The www.playbytherules.net.au website also details indicators which may indicate that a child has been subjected to abuse. This list can be accessed by clicking:
If a club or club volunteer suspects a child has been subjected to abuse, as well as a moral obligation to take steps to protect the child, depending on your state, you may also have a mandatory reporting obligation.
State and territories have different reporting rules. Some states and territories have mandatory reporting rules while others don’t. To understand how and when to report suspected cases of child abuse, follow the link below to understand the reporting process and responsibilities in your state or territory:
Working with Children Checks
States and territories also have different processes for screening staff and volunteers who wish to work with children. Click on the relevant link below to view the process for applying for a “Working with Children Check” in your state or territory: